As food and beverage marketing in the U.S. becomes increasingly complex and even more competitive, marketers in the category have a new creative and strategic resource to tap. The Good Eats Agency (www.goodeatsagency.com) has officially opened its doors in New York.
Founded by award-winning creative director David Hale, the agency is all food, all the time, specializing in everything from traditional ad campaigns and brand strategy to sales promotion, social media, direct response, and shopper marketing, exclusively for food and beverage brands.
Hale brings extensive and proven experience in brand-building for a long list of food, beverage, and restaurant clients to his role as chief creative officer of Good Eats. He’s won multiples of every major creative award creative while delivering innovative communications strategies for marketers such as Burger King, Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Taco Bell, Wendy’s, Miller Beer, McDonald’s, and Papa John’s. His “Sometimes You Gotta Break the Rules” campaign for Burger King was hailed as a category breakthrough in Advertising Age, helping BK break a five-year sales decline and post an 11 percent increase in its first year.
Good Eats is one of the lead creative agencies for Lee Roy Selmon’s, a Florida-based sports restaurant chain owned by MVP Holdings, a company founded by former top executives at OSI Restaurant Partners, LLC, parent of Outback Steakhouse.
Having penned the tagline "Cheer Hard, Eat Well," Good Eats oversees all broadcast spots, POS, in-store/out-of-store communications, new product introductions, menu design, table tents, radio, social media, and large-scale sports promotions for the growing chain.
Good Eats was also retained recently by Sonic Drive-In to supplement its agency of record’s work and inject fresh, innovative thinking into the marketing behind a new product launch. In just three weeks, Good Eats created, produced, and delivered two 30-second TV spots and two 15-second spots, resulting in increases of 1.2 percent in system-wide same-store sales for the quarter.
Hale’s role as a behind-the-scenes power player in restaurant and food marketing is a well-known secret among top clients. In addition to myriad fast food projects he’s handled, he’s also operated as an independent creative resource and strategic consultant working for OSI for the past 16 years, functioning as the primary interface between the parent company’s marketing leaders and their existing agencies of record.
Former Outback CMO Nancy Schneid (currently chief marketing officer at MVP Holdings) says, “David is always thinking. He has an amazing ability to expertly unwrap an organization and craft a campaign in the voice of the company. There is no one with the talent and creativity that he has.”
Andi Jacobs, director of marketing for Red Elephant Grill and former VP/Marketing for Carrabba’s, says, “David’s one of the rare balanced-talents in the food industry who utilizes both sides of his brain. He provides exceptional creative and innovative business solutions. No doubt the best work we ever produced was due to David's creative leadership.”
At Good Eats Agency, Hale leads a team of senior marketing executives who all offer deep experience and insight into every aspect of the food and beverage category.
Primary among them is Jerry Layefsky, who holds the title of chief innovation officer/partner. A specialist in brand strategy, research, analysis, and account planning, he’s worked for companies such as Burger King, CPC/Best Foods, and Campbell Soup’s beverage division. An acknowledged industry leader in the tactical marketing needs of franchise-driven operations, Layefsky is deeply involved in areas like product innovation and creating consumer tracking systems.
“I cannot think of anyone who walks in the shoes of foodservice consumers like Jerry,” says Rob Calderin, senior vice president of brand marketing at Arby's and a former client at Burger King. “He’s helped us uncover insights that led to powerful brand-building strategies and tactical plans.”
Good Eats’ network of senior creative and strategic experts also includes industry heavy hitters Harvey Hoffenberg and Len Fink. Hoffenberg, a former executive creative director at ad agencies such as BBDO and Saatchi & Saatchi, was the driving force behind classic Pepsi campaigns featuring Ray Charles and other celebrities, as well as on campaigns for Taco Bell and other quick-serve accounts. Fink created the enduring Coca-Cola polar bears icons while at the Creative Artists Agency.
Together, the Good Eats team represents a core of highly knowledgeable and results-oriented food and beverage pros whose sole commitment is to provide profitable innovation to brands in all aspects of the food service industry. The agency’s specialization allows it to provide customized solutions tailored to the unique marketing and regulatory needs of companies working in this arena.
“We’re quintessential food guys,” Hale says about the agency’s niche. “We understand what marketers need to succeed in today’s fast-changing economic and retail environment, and we’re structured to provide ideas that will help them across all areas of their business. As we like to say, we’ll work for food—and drinks.”